New Hui Fen completes her hat-trick of SEA Games bowling titles
Singapore bowler, 27, claims Masters crown after winning singles and team titles
Singapore's New Hui Fen became the best performing bowler at the 2019 SEA Games, after she won the women's Masters event yesterday to complete her hat-trick of gold medals in Manila.
New defeated Malaysia's Siti Safiyah Amirah in the stepladder finals at the Coronado Lanes, with compatriot Shayna Ng finishing third.
New, 27, entered the stepladder finals as the top seed and needed to win only the first game, but the two finalists tied at 190 pinfalls each, forcing a tie-breaker.
Both New and Siti went on to hit 40 pinfalls apiece to force a second tie-breaker, which the Malaysian won 29-27.
In the second game, New kept her composure to win 213-194.
Last week, New had won the women's singles and the team event, alongside Ng, and sisters Cherie and Daphne Tan.
Said New: "I feel very happy (about winning the Masters) but, when I first realised that I won the gold, I felt very emotional.
"It's really a dream come true... it has always been my goal to (finish) in the top five of every event and in this competition I was in the top five.
"I've been very consistent throughout all my events, my worst performance was in the mixed doubles where (Cheah) Ray Han and I came in fourth... This SEA Games has been a successful one for me."
This edition of the biennial meet has also been deemed a success by Singapore coach Helmi Chew, whose target has been to better or match the performance at Kuala Lumpur in 2017, when they returned home with two golds, three silvers and two bronzes.
Along with New's three golds, Singapore have bagged a silver in the women's doubles (New and Ng) and four bronzes through Ng (women's Masters and singles), Cheah (men's singles) and Jaris Goh (men's Masters).
"We have achieved our target... I'm very happy with the team's performance, everybody was behind one another, stayed positive, and did not get ahead of themselves and everyone stuck to the processes...
"There were highs and lows.... everyone understood what his or her strengths and weaknesses are, and we will go home and work on the areas we can improve on..."
Singapore Bowling Federation president Jessie Phua said she was proud of how New pulled through.
Said Phua: "It was heart stopping but when all seemed lost, she delivered! Also immensely proud of Jaris, Shayna and the team. It's a super strong field and the lanes are so challenging."
For Goh, the bronze in the men's Masters, after a 204-191 defeat by Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang, is "redemption" for a disappointing week he has had.
The 24-year-old finished 11th in the singles, eighth in the doubles, 14th in the mixed doubles and fifth in the team event.
He said: "It is redemption for what has happened this week. I've learnt a lot this tournament... there were a lot of hiccups along the way, but I've learnt how to bounce back, that's the key lesson from this tournament."
When asked how he felt during the stepladder finals, Goh added: "At the KL Games, I was so close to making it to the stepladder finals (finished fifth), so I'm just glad to have made it this time.
"During the finals, I was nervous and also every day, there have been lane changes, so I had to adapt to the (oil) pattern changes as well but, overall, I did very well.
"Outcome is something we can't control... what coach Helmi and I did was to control the processes."